Eq: Total Market
Markets are having a very rough day. Both the S&P500 and the Dow are down almost 3%. Financials have been leading losses. The selloff appears to be centered on fears over the fragility of the US-China trade “truce”. Treasury bonds have been rallying, leading to selloffs in tech and banks. The Treasury curve started to invert yesterday, which also seems to have spooked investors.
FINSUM: What a difference a day makes! Just yesterday it seemed like stocks might be lined up for a nice end of year run. A day later, the trade trace has created more tension than before and the yield curve is starting to invert.
Markets and the global economy got some very welcome news this weekend. On the sidelines of the G-20 conference, President Trump and Chinese leader Xi came to a “truce” in their trade war spat this weekend after what they both called a “high successful meeting”. Accordingly, several industry-specific stocks should react well to the news. These stocks are: Stanley Black & Decker, Caterpillar, Emerson Electric, AGCO Corporation, and 3M.
FINSUM: Many of these stocks already have big tariff-driven headwinds in their 2019 outlooks, so the possibility for big reversals seems likely. A lot of gloom had already set in, which means there is significant upside.
Here is an eye opener- by some measures this was the worst year for markets in at least a century. Through early November, 89% of assets had delivered losses for the year, the worst market wide performance in a 100 years, according to Deutsche Bank. However, with the new truce between China and the US, many assets are moving into the black for the year. Also, the jump in oil bodes well for the energy sector as well as high yield bonds.
FINSUM: A lot of the near-term gloom got cleared up this weekend, and it seems possible that markets could have a nice end-of-year bull run.
December is usually a very good time to go with momentum stocks. What has been doing well the previous 11 months seems likely to continue in December, so says Barron’s. Momentum investing as a style has been well-founded in studies, but what is less well know is that it is particularly strong in the last month of the year. In fact, the momentum effect for stocks in December is 10x greater than in the other months of the year! Interestingly though, the effect is completely reversed in January, when tax-loss selling is concluded. With that in mind, here are some stocks to look at in the new year (the losers from this year): General Electric, Cognex, Dentsply Sirona, Western Digital, Adient, Bristow Group, McDermott International, Owens & Minor, Synnex, U.S. Silica Holdings, and Winnebago Industries.
FINSUM: This is quite an interesting angle as the losers from one year usually fall hard in December and then perk up in January.
Morgan Stanley has just published a list investors should probably pay attention to. The bank’s research has chosen ten stocks which it says may tank. It is unusual for bank analysts to have negative views of stocks, but when they do, it is worth listening to. Without further ado, the list is: Abercrombie & Fitch, Avis Budget Group, Bed, Bath & Beyond, EQT, FitBit, Hertz Global Holdings, Juniper Networks, MSG Networks, Seaspan, and Tenneco.
FINSUM: The most interesting ones for us are the car rental companies (Hertz and Avis). They say ride-sharing is a risk, as is a decline in used car values. We agree with the former, but we think the latter is off base because as new car buying slows (as does the economy), used car sales will pick up.
Jack Bogle, the founder of Vanguard, is a legendary name is investing. Not only did he found and grow one of the largest asset managers in the world, but he has a habit of being right when he predicts returns. Well, he has just made another prediction, and unfortunately it is not one investors will like. He thinks returns over the next decade are going to lag their historical levels badly. His forecast is that investors can expect a 1.75% net return with a 50%/50% stock-bond portfolio over the next decade.
FINSUM: If this call turns out to be right, it will have huge implications for retirees and pension funds, as “safe spending” rules and total returns for pensions will be devastated. That sad, we think forecasting that far out is all but useless.